Experts say the key to saving money when building green is remembering LEED programs are project specific and what works for one project may not benefit another. Here are some tips to save green while building green.
• Start and the process early. You can keep costs lower if you know what you want. This will prevent you from having to design the building more than once. Look at what you are planning and see how that fits into the overall LEED requirements; employing energy efficiency may not be too far off the map.
• Putting in time pays off. The more engaged the end users are at the beginning of a project, the greater the return is over time. The architect and contractor need to have a full grasp on who will occupy the building, how it will operate and future employees’ behavior.
• Do not just purchase points. Always choose impactful elements that give opportunity for payoff, rather than including something just to fill a requirement. Find solutions that most benefit your project.
• Be realistic about your staff. You can take green building a step too far and actually waste more energy if the staff maintaining the building lacks qualifications. The complexity of the building needs to match staff skill.